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Old 09-19-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
Hashidiya
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Member#: 185788
Join Date: Jul 2008
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2006 Touge1 WRX
Obsidian Black Pearl

Default 7th Trip to Subaru for Electrical Issue

A Brief history of the trips to Subaru and symptoms:

After initially starting the car, the headlights will flicker, the gauge cluster flickers, the radio unit cuts out and then the brake indicator and CEL light wlicker and then go away. This will happen in mid-range RPMs directly after turn-over and only in 1st and 2nd gear. Sometimes the car will not turn-over, when the clutch is depressed. The key is turned and the only result will be an audible click. If the key is turned of and then on a few more times, the fuel pump is now audible. If I wait a few moments, the car will turn-over. Sometimes when I disarm the factory car alarm, nothing happens. I have to disarm it multiple times. A problem that has been fixed after removing and replacing the clock module, was that the passenger airbag indicator would show that it was armed when nobody was in the passenger side or would show nobody was in, when a passenger was present. A Subaru mechanic rode along to see the symptoms repeat and immediately the alternator being worked under load.
What has been replaced by the dealer is the alternator(twice), the battery (once), the clutch actuation switch, clock module, and a few associated parts. The only mods that could potentially affect this are the Perrin crank pulley and an ECU reflash via Access Port. Because of this, I have only been modifying the suspension and brakes with everything under the sun. Although this is unlikely, since they were added after the fact. The dealership requested that I install the factory radio, even though it was(the problem) identified before I had the aftermarket unit installed. So the car is currently running with the stock radio. I personally have tightened every ground I could find and cleaned the terminal connectors to the battery, even though there was no visible build-up or corrosion.
Currently I am deployed out of the country and am going to drop it off again when I get back. It had the alternator replaced the 2nd time about 4 weeks before I left. My friend who starts it a few times a month said that the symptoms were occurring again. Does anybody have any ideas? I am going to get a battery with higher CCA and another grounding kit just to see if this assists in alleviating the problem, although I know it will not fix the actual issue. I am curious if there is moisture in any of the electrical lines, as when the temp is below zero in Anchorage, I have no problems with it starting, but when it is raining or there is more humidity, the problems get worse.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
Cougar4
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2001 LL Bean Outback
Winestone

Default

I think the ECU has some control of the field circuit to the alternator. I may have some info on that for your model and will check to see if that is the case. It sounds like you may have a bad connection to the alternator possibly or there is something wrong inside the ECU with the control circuit to the alternator.

The starting problem is a seperate issue. There may be something going on with the ignition switch, main relay circuit, or inhibit switch.

I see you live in town. If you can get the problem to occur I could possibly look at it and check the alternator circuit at least.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #3
Cougar4
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I checked the drawings and it looks like the ECU doesn't control the alternator so it makes it more simple to check. After looking things over and going by what you say the trouble points to a faulty ignition switch or the connection after it. Checking the power to fuse 11 in the dash panel would be a good and easy starting point to check. Power should be applied to that fuse when the ignition is turned on. It supplies power to the fuel pump relay coil and the ECU. A simple test light probe is all you need to have in order to check that.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
Cougar4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashidiya View Post
: I am going to get a battery with higher CCA and another grounding kit just to see if this assists in alleviating the problem, although I know it will not fix the actual issue. I am curious if there is moisture in any of the electrical lines, as when the temp is below zero in Anchorage, I have no problems with it starting, but when it is raining or there is more humidity, the problems get worse.

Thanks in advance.
You are correct in your statement about the battery. A larger one won't make any difference to correct the trouble. The alternator issue may also be due to a bad connection to the dash panel. The charge warning light circuit is critical for the alternator to operate. The warning light must work in order for the alternator field to excite the rotor. If the warning light isn't turning on with the flickering lights it may indicate a bad connection there.

I see you are most likely in the service so thanks very much for your support. There are some very good techs on this site so we should be able to get these troubles fixed even if Continental Subaru can't, through they are good at what they do. Another good Soob place in town is Specialized Import and I usually use them for major repair troubles. We should be able to solve the problems you are having though and help save you some cash on repair bills.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
Hashidiya
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2006 Touge1 WRX
Obsidian Black Pearl

Subaru Stars Thanks for the reply

Thanks for the reply. I definitely appreciate all the insightful information I can get. I briefly had a Valentine One hard-wired( piggy backed) into the radio fuse, about 6 months prior to the problem starting, but removed it. Six months later, the problems occurred. I get back from deployment in early November, and would appreciate any assistance you could offer. Much obliged again for your time spent looking into my issue. I look forward in lending a hand, if I can, when I get back. The guys at Continental have definitely been great to work with so far. When I bring the WRX in, I know those cats have it under control. My car on the other hand has some angry gremlins running around the lines.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:15 PM   #6
Cougar4
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If you want to get together when you return and look it over that would be fine with me. Send me a private message when you get back and I will give you my contact info. I don't think this problem will be too hard to find. It looks like it may be a ignition switch problem or connection to the dash. The fact that the problem occurs only in first and second gear is strange though. I'm not sure what to think about that as the only thing I can think of is a bad alternator causing the trouble. But you have been there twice already. Proper testing of the alternator wiring will show the road to the trouble area.

Last edited by Cougar4; 09-20-2010 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:08 AM   #7
Hashidiya
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Member#: 185788
Join Date: Jul 2008
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2006 Touge1 WRX
Obsidian Black Pearl

Default Thanks!

Thanks for your time and help. I look forward to working on the issue when I get back. I miss my car and can't wait to get the gremlins ironed out I will PM you shortly after touching down on the ground, in about 6.5 weeks. I can't wait to get this solved.

Cheers,

Jared
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
Cougar4
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Winestone

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You're welcome for the help Jared. Talk to later and hope things go well over there for you.

Glen
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:29 PM   #9
Hashidiya
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Member#: 185788
Join Date: Jul 2008
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Anchorage, AK
Vehicle:
2006 Touge1 WRX
Obsidian Black Pearl

Default Resolved

FYI...check the connections, no matter how intensive. There was a loose ground between the positive battery terminal grounds, and the interior driver side fuse box....Disco!
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:36 PM   #10
RichardM
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Thanks for the update. And glad you are back and the car is working!
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #11
Cougar4
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2001 LL Bean Outback
Winestone

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Good deal and thanks for the update. Welcome back.
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